Virtual School Meanderings

July 24, 2010

Day 6 – 7 Days To A Better EduBlog

Stephanie posted the sixth task in her 7 Days to a Better EduBlog mini-course at:

7 Days – Day 6: Pages (and a bonus lesson)

So, there are a couple of things to do in today’s task.  The first is to complete the following list of activities related to pages:

  1. Brainstorm a list of all of the possible pages that you might be able to include on your blog.
  2. Review the entire list while reflecting on the question — Does this page support the purpose of my blog and the needs of my audience?
  3. Review the entire list and consider if any of the page ideas could be combined into one page.
  4. After narrowing down your list of pages, begin setting up any that do not already exist on your blog.
  5. Take some time today to add, update, and/or revise content on any of your blog pages.

In addition, there was also a bonus task for those of us expecting to have to do something in relation to posting a blog entry.  Essentially, the bonus task is to “create a ‘Weekly Links’ blog post.”

Bonus Task

Let me deal with the bonus task first, as that is one that I won’t have to wait until tomorrow morning to post as an entry.  The reason I won’t have to wait until tomorrow morning is because this is something I do each Saturday morning.  Each week I post a “Weekly Links” post related to all of the news items that I am able to find related to K-12 online learning.  In fact, it appeared this morning under the title “Virtual Schooling In The News“.  And then of course there is the weekly Friday Funnies feature.

In addition to the “Weekly Lists” post, I also do a series of “Monthly Lists” posts, including:

I often consider what other weekly or monthly features I might add (and regularly assess how the current ones are doing – both in terms of traffic and whether I believe they are still useful).  What about you?  Do you believe any of these weekly or monthly features have outlived their usefulness? What do you think?  Are there any entries that I post irregularly or that you have seen on other blogs that you would suggest I incorporate into weekly or monthly features?

My Blog Pages

Okay, now let’s consider Stephanie’s questions…

1. Brainstorm a list of all of the possible pages that you might be able to include on your blog.

Let me start by adding my current list of pages and then other possibilities will be added to the bottom:

2. Review the entire list while reflecting on the question — Does this page support the purpose of my blog and the needs of my audience?

  • About VSM – this is where I describe the blog and what I want to accomplish with it.
  • CC by NC-SA – my copyright statement (added as a part of my participation in the 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger series that Steve Dembo led).
  • Full Disclosure – my disclosure statement (added as a part of my participation in the 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger series that Steve Dembo led, and based on the one that Miguel created at Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org).
  • Meandering Out Loud – a list of all of the entries that have been posted as a part of this feature.
  • SITE: Virtual Schooling SIG – a description of and link to the only academic organization focused on K-12 online learning (and I happen to be the Chair).
  • Translate This Blog – a way to translate my blog into a variety of different languages  (added as a part of my participation in the 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger series that Steve Dembo led)
  • VSM Newsletter – a description of and way to sign-up for this feature.
  • VSM Podcasts – a list of all of the entries that have been posted as a part of this feature.
  • Contact – while I have my Twitter linked into the right-hand menu and further down there are links to my homepage (which contains links to all of my Web 2.0 participation) and my wiki, there is no easy way to e-mail me on this blog.  Initially that was intentional, and given the number of people that do e-mail me about guest entries and to ask questions I think the lack of e-mail link has worked well.  I suppose this could also be added to the existing About VSM page.
  • Blog Rules – I’m torn on this, as I generally like the idea, but this haven’t not worked thus far so I am unsure if I need it.  Again, I suppose some of this could be incorporated into the existing About VSM page.
  • Resources – this would be an interesting addition, I’m not sure not what kind of resources I would add to it (and I think after a while that might get to be unmanageable).
  • Classes – right now there are only a handful of post-secondary courses that focus on issues related to K-12 online learning and they would be easy enough to list.  I just wonder what happens a year from now or two when they are as common as technology integration courses i universities.
  • Presentations and/or Workshops – simply too many of them for me to list here, but they are all listed on my homepage under the “Research” heading.  Again, I suppose this could also be added to the existing About VSM page.
  • How to Use This Blog – see what I wrote for “Blog Rules” above.
  • My Portfolio – again, simply too much, but it is available on my homepage.  Again, I suppose this could also be added to the existing About VSM page.
  • CV or Resume – I have this posted on my homepage, and wonder if I should link it in here?!?
  • Moodle Central / My Favorite Apps / Free Open Source Software – for me, all three of these represent thematic issues or topics that Miguel posts about regularly on his blog and the pages appear to act as supplemental resources designed to accompany those topical blog posts.  This is something I would like to do at some point, I’m just not sure what topics I would focus on.
  • Consulting – I would like to do more to increase my consulting profile.  I have done some consulting in the past, although much of it has been with individuals or organizations that I have an existing relationship with.  I would like to expand this and increasing my consulting profile through my blog may be an avenue for that.
  • CASTLE – earlier this year I became one of the CASTLE blogs, but beyond the image in the top right-hand corner no one would ever know that (unless you saw the actual announcement). I need something in my right-hand menu – a page or a CASTLE image that links to the main CASTLE website (maybe both) – but something.

3. Review the entire list and consider if any of the page ideas could be combined into one page.

I believe that I did that above, particularly with the things that could be incorporated into the existing About VSM page.

4. After narrowing down your list of pages, begin setting up any that do not already exist on your blog.

After looking at this list above, thinking about what I have the time to do now and what I believe needs to be done, over the next 24 hours I will:

  • update the existing About VSM page;
  • add something to the right-hand menu to increase my affiliation with CASTLE; and
  • update my Full Disclosure page (simply because it needs to be done).

5. Take some time today to add, update, and/or revise content on any of your blog pages.

Check this blog 24 hours from now and tell me how you think I’ve done with these updates.

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